Sunday, May 13, 2007

Genesis, Midrashim and Mother's Day: A Story

When a woman is going to have a baby, the Angel of the Night takes the tiny seed of the baby to God. She will look at it and say, "Oh yes! That is Abdul." Or Rochelle, or whoever. Then God decides if the person will be tall or short, rich or poor, fat, skinny or whatever. Everything about the person's life is determined, except whether he or she will live a good life or even one. God has no control over that, only the person.

After making her decisions, God calls for the soul to be brought in. She tells the soul, "Enter this person."

The soul hesitates. "I am holy and pure and part of you," she says. "Why do you want me to live in a body?"

"Do not worry," God reassures her. "I created you for this." But the soul does not want to live in a body, so God forces it in.. Then she appoints two angels to watch over the mother in case the soul tries to escape.

Each of us has two guardian angels. One represents the good we want to do. The other represents the evil. On Judgment Day the two angels will stand before God. One will tell her the good you did. The other will talk about all you did that you shouldn't have and all you could have but didn't. But as long as the soul is inside the mother, the angels feel how lonely and afraid she is and they put a light above her so she can see from one end of the world to the other. They show her all the places she will live and where she will one day die.

Finally the day comes for the baby to be born. "It is time for you to come into the world," the angels announce to the soul.

"I like it in here!" the soul shouts back. "It's warm and cozy and I'm not coming out."

The angels have no choice. The soul must come into the world. The angels look at each other and wink. Then they tickle the soul--she starts giggling and can't stop them. Before she knows it, she is in the world. When the baby feels the cold air, the soul forgets everything she saw and learned about where she will live and die and be buried.

Thus we are born, laughing and crying.

(From Julius Fester's amazing _When the Beginning Began: Stories about God, the creatures and us_ )

1 comment:

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